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Lame at the Laundromat

My real Mohawk Valley adventure on July 4 involved going to the Laundromat. I wrote the following while there, largely because I had neglected to bring a book to read. This being Lame Post Friday, I make bold to use it.

I have not been to the laundromat in years. Steven and I used to make quite an event out of it. We’d wait till we were wearing our bathing suits instead of underwear, load everything into the car (one more reason we drove a station wagon) and head out, usually on a weeknight. This was a good time to go in the North Country, where we used to live.

The most we ever filled was, I think, ten washers. It gives me a little giggle even now, thinking about it. Being me and Steve, we made silly jokes the whole time. I even started to write a song about it: The Dirty Clothes Blues.

With all this in mind, losing our washer and drier in the flood (um, they didn’t float away, they just got flooded) was the least of our worries.

“We’ll just go to the laundromat till we’re more beforehand with the world,” I declared.

“We used to have fun doing that,” Steven remembered.

So I had envisioned a fun if silly couple’s activity. However, what with mud and sweat, our clean clothes ran out faster than anticipated (and I don’t have a bathing suit any more). I put on my last pair of clean shorts and a sports bra and said, “I need to do laundry.”

Steven felt bad about not accompanying (he was working a double shift), but I made light of it.

“It’s the Fourth of July,” I said. “How many people are going to be doing laundry?”

Famous last words.

Steven helped me bring the baskets put to my vehicle. I had decided on a modest three loads. That is, all the dirty clothes that were NOT in the basement. Those are out on the back deck, awaiting a HOT washing or else a decent burial, as we will decide. The only sad thing was that our schnoodle, Tabby, saw us loading stuff into the car and immediately concluded that we were all going on a fun road trip. Imagine her disappointment. And mine.

A quick stop to pick up detergent (another casualty) and I was off to Ilion, NY, to the new laundromat there. At least, I can’t remember how new, but recent at least. I drive by it on my way to work and know it has a large number of machines.

The first thing I noticed was the number of cars in the parking lot. Well, that falls squarely under the heading Should Have Known. Weren’t basements flooded all over the Mohawk Valley? Didn’t many of those basements contain washers and driers? I found a parking space and hoped for the best.

And everything was fine. Like I said, large number of machines. I had a moment of sticker shock when I saw the washer said $5.50 as the price. I felt better when I realized that sucker could hold two of my baskets. Then I saw smaller washers that were only $2.50. Perfect for my small load of whites.

This was cool.

The truly lame moment happened after I was done writing and doing laundry. I got all the way home (a modest distance, but still) and realized I had forgotten my detergent at the laundromat. You know how people handle big problems with aplomb but fall apart at the dumbest things? All week people have been telling me I was reacting very well to this being flooded thing. I have tried to keep my spirits up and not lose my sense of humor.

Well, doing something as stupid as forgetting my brand new detergent at the laundromat made me dang near burst into tears. I made the drive back to Ilion, cursing my (lack of) brain and telling myself it was no big deal. Either the detergent would be there or somebody else would be happy to not have to buy some. Perhaps even another flood victim.

My not so random observation on this Lame Post Friday is that half-baked philosophy will only get you so far. I recovered my detergent. I still felt really, really dumb.